• TheMadFool
    13.8k
    As I understand it, the hard problem of consciosuness claims that there exist subjective mental experiences (qualia) that can't be explained in physical terms, herein meant the brain. In other words, (physical) brain activity is not sufficient to explain subjective mind experiences.

    That out of the way, let's look at sleep and how that weighs in on the issue.

    An awake state and a sleep state correlate with an active brain and an inactive brain respectively. Before a person sleeps i.e. when she's awake, she has all the subjective mind experiences (qualia), the feature we need to keep an eye on, anyone possibly can. In the awake state this person's brain has activity.

    When a person sleeps, brain activity ceases in relevant respects and this person stops having any and all subjective mind experiences. This implies that brain activity is necessary for subjective mind experiences.

    As a person awakens, brain activity resumes, and all subjective mind experiences are restored. What this means is that brain activity is sufficient for subjective mind experiences.

    In summary:

    1. Brain activity is necessary for subjective mind experiences

    2. Brain activity is sufficient for subjective mind experiences

    Ergo,

    3. Brain activity is both sufficient and necessary for subjective mind experiences (1 & 2)

    Ergo,

    4. There is no hard problem of consciousness.

    :chin:
  • schopenhauer1
    10k

    I see here that you started a whole new thread so I'm going to answer you in here.

    As I understand it, the hard problem of consciosuness claims that there exist subjective mental experiences (qualia) that can't be explained in physical terms, herein meant the brain. In other words, (physical) brain activity is not sufficient to explain subjective mind experiences.TheMadFool

    This is not necessarily a true characterization of the hard question of consciousness. The hard question recognizes that brain states correlate and are necessary for mental states, and one may even be a complete materialist (there is nothing more than physical processes). However, the hard question is pointing to the fact that there is an unexplainable phenomena (i.e. the "explanatory gap") for how or why it is that brain states are correlated with mental states. It is the difference between causing an event and being an event. We know that biological/chemical/physical activity causes mental states, but what is not explained is why this particular set of bio/chemical/physical events are mental states.

    When a person sleeps, brain activity ceases in relevant respects and this person stops having any and all subjective mind experiences. This implies that brain activity is necessary for subjective mind experiences.

    As a person awakens, brain activity resumes, and all subjective mind experiences are restored. What this means is that brain activity is sufficient for subjective mind experiences.
    TheMadFool

    This is irrelevant based on what I said above between the difference between "causing" and "being" a mental state. No one positing the hard question is denying brain states cause mental states.

    1. Brain activity is necessary for subjective mind experiencesTheMadFool

    This the hard questioners agree with.

    2. Brain activity is sufficient for subjective mind experiencesTheMadFool

    Most materialist hard questioners may agree with this. That isn't necessarily the issue either.

    3. Brain activity is both sufficient and necessary for subjective mind experiences (1 & 2)TheMadFool

    Same thing repeated yep.

    Ergo,

    4. There is no hard problem of consciousness.
    TheMadFool

    This is not necessarily true. Hard questioners are asking why/how it is that mental states are (metaphysically speaking one and the same) as this particular set of physical events. Just saying brain states are necessary and sufficient does not explain this.
  • 3017amen
    3.1k


    TMF!

    If the subjective experience explains the nature of reality, what would explain the information acting [that acts] upon all matter (or emergent matter as it were)? In other words, how do we reconcile informational energy acting upon all matter within our consciousness(?).

    I think that would be one of the missing pieces there, as it relates to your notion that the nature of reality (consciousness) is subjective.

    Otherwise TMF, I agree with your Subjective Epistemological/Ontological Problem. This is the problem associated with “subjective” versus “objective” perspectives on being in the world. Of course the way to think about this is that subjective experiential consciousness is fully "contained" within the individual. This containment results in two important sub problems, which are mirror images of each other. The first is the problem of directly knowing another’s subjective experience—the problem being it cannot be done. This is the problem of: “How do I know that you see red the way I see red?” This problem also relates to our knowledge of consciousness in other animals, which we can only know indirectly. This is also related to the philosophical problem of zombies.

    Indeed, all subjective experiences can only be inferred via behavior from an objective perspective. The second issue is the inversion of this problem. This is the problem that, as individuals, we are trapped in our subjective perceptual experience of the world. That is, the only way I can know about the world is through my subjective theater of experience.
  • neonspectraltoast
    258
    An even harder question is whether or not the brain is a formidable tool for ascertaining reality as it is. I would argue that it probably isn't. It's just too small and personal to grasp the over extending hierarchy of the universe.

    We only experience time when we're awake, too. Does that mean time is a product of the brain. You would say no, because another observer can detect its passing. Yet mind does have a relationship to time, and what is the nature of that relationship.

    So, no, the nature of mind isn't entirely located in the brain. A faucet can produce water, and if you were a caveman you might believe it creates water. But that no water comes out when it's off doesn't explain the origin of water. When it comes out when it's on doesn't tell us anything about the nature of water.

    Similarly, conscious subjective experience may seem to be generated by the brain, but this tells us nothing about the properties of subjective awareness. We have no idea if it forms oceans that evaporate and rain back down to earth.
  • Enrique
    842
    This is slightly longer than your typical post, but I think you guys will find it interesting. Proposed solution to the hard problem!


    Scientists have identified entanglement in photosynthetic reaction centers, within which light-activated electrons of multiple chlorophyll pigments are actually more like a single perturbing quanta field than a particle transport chain, with energization transmitted to centrally located reaction center molecules responsible for initiating biochemical pathways that drive much of cellular metabolism in plants, stimulation that can take place from any direction and while diffuse electron wavicle structure is in any orientation. We can liken this type of quanta phenomenon to a subatomic body of water, where translation of light into kinetic energy at any point in the electron field generates a holistic ripple effect that never fails to evince statistical signs of reaction center activation in nearly identical proportion to UV exposure, total energy yield from any quantity or orientation of ultraviolet photons.

    The key functional role of ‘entanglement systems’ or hybrid electron waves spanning multiple molecules to a biological process as basic as photosynthesis makes it seem probable that this type of phenomenon is one of the core components of physiology, a pillar of life’s chemistry.

    Photons of different wavelengths have additive properties when combined: any two primary colors synthesize to produce a secondary color, all visible wavelengths together produce white light, and so on. Like photons, electrons also have a wavelike nature and no doubt additive properties within single atoms or small collections of molecules, which are probably minute enough to evade detection by the naked eye, and most likely decompose quickly in an inorganic environment due to decoherence from thermodynamic “noise” of kinetic entropy characterizing large aggregates of agitated mass.

    However, in a physiological context, mass is much less subjected to entropic effects of kinetic motion, being stabilized as emergent structurality in biochemical pathways and additional types of molecular systems, so that these additive properties of electron wavelength may possibly be sustained for a prolonged period. Not only this, but electrons can hypothetically be entangled in multiple ways at once, creating a superposition in which additive properties of numerous entanglement structures are simultaneously congregated into larger entanglement structures, systems within systems that we might want to distinguish from the relatively simplistic situation inhering in photosynthesis, a categorically different phenomenon of hybridized ‘coherence field’. If coherence fields are found to be supported by the molecular assemblages of cellular biochemistry in the nervous system, especially likely to be discovered in the brain, their extremely complex additive properties may be what we know as ‘qualia’. In this scenario, qualia are not merely an immateriality supervenient on atoms, but instead a kind of exceedingly complex “color” or electromagnetically quantum resonance, material states intrinsic to tangible structure of the physical world.

    The question then is how what we know as our conscious self-awareness can emerge from this basic qualia phenomenon. How do qualia give rise to the qualitative “experience” of a perceiver? A possible explanation is that biochemical and physiological structures exist, particularly in the brain, for synchronizing these sustained coherence fields, analogous to the clock mechanism of a CPU, so that qualia are metaorganized into a large array of experiential modules, parts of which compose the self-aware mind. Activity of these compound modules may manifest as the standing brain waves detected by EEG (electroencephalogram).


    In exactly what way consciousness emerged via evolution is a mystery, but we can be fairly certain about what eventually had to obtain in order for it to be possible. Initially, electrical properties in aggregates of tissue such as the brain needed to be robust enough that a stable supervenience of electromagnetic field (EMF) was created by systematic electron fluxing. Quantum effects in molecules of the body are sensitive to trace EMF energy sources, creating a structural complex of relatively thermodynamic mass containing pockets of relatively quantum biochemistry integrated by sustained radiation. EMF/quantum hybridization is likely responsible for our synthetic experience of qualia, how we perceive unfathomably minute and diverse fluctuating of environments as a perpetualized substrate, perturbed by its surroundings but never vanishing while we are awake and lucid, the essence of perceptual “stream of consciousness”.

    Nonlocal phenomena are ever underlying the macroscopic substance of qualitative consciousness, its EMF properties as well as bulked three dimensional matter in which nonlocality is partially dampened, and quantum processes in cells interface perception instantiated in bodies with the more or less nonlocal natural world mostly still enigmatic to scientific knowledge.

    Quantum features of biochemistry have likely been refined evolutionarily so that mechanisms by which relative nonlocality affects organisms, mechanisms of EMF/matter interfacing, mechanisms targeting particular environmental stimuli via functionally tailored pigments along with further classes of molecules and cellular tissues, and mechanisms for translation of stimulus into representational memory all became increasingly coordinated until an arrangement involving what we call ‘intentionality’ emerged, a mind with executive functions of deliberative interpretation and behavioral strategizing, beyond mere reflex-centric memory conjoined to stimulus/response. Qualitative consciousness precedes the degree of unification we experience as humanlike awareness, for qualia can exist and perform a functional role in consort with quantum effects and additional gradations of nonlocal reality while an organism is almost entirely lacking executive, centralized control in the form of intentions.


    It can be tested experimentally and explains how qualia and matter coexist.
  • Heracloitus
    487
    We only experience time when we're awake, too.neonspectraltoast

    I have experienced dreams that had temporality as an important factor. To give a general example, imagine a nightmare, in which the dreamer is aware of some impending sense of doom, but also having to wait for the cause of said doom to occur. There is a felt duration that makes the nightmare all the more agonising.
  • Heracloitus
    487


    So I dispute your assertion that dreams are a non temporal experience. Is there any conscious experience outside of time? If the answer is no, then we can begin to posit at least something about reality. That it is essentially durational (Of course, this depends on whether you think the brain creates the attributes of subjective experience) .
  • TheMadFool
    13.8k
    However, the hard question is pointing to the fact that there is an unexplainable phenomena (i.e. the "explanatory gap") for how or why it is that brain states are correlated with mental states. It is the difference between causing an event and being an event. We know that biological/chemical/physical activity causes mental states, but what is not explained is why this particular set of bio/chemical/physical events are mental states.schopenhauer1

    Firstly, thanks for the clarification. What you say makes sense but the hard problem of consciousness characterized as being about an explanatory gap is, essentially, to claim that physical brain activity is not sufficient in providing an explanation of subjective mental experiences but if we recognize the fact that when we wake up from sleep, reactivated brain activity corresponding to a return of subjective mental experiences, we'll come to the realization that the explanatory gap you speak of has more to do with our ignorance than anything even remotely linkable to the many versions of dualism that are doing the rounds.

    To sum up, notwithstanding the fact that, as of now, subjective mental experiences haven't been explained by brain activity, I've demonstrated a sufficient and necessary connection between the brain and these subjective mental experiences which entails that there really is nothing spooky going on at all - it's not a matter of "IF mental phenomena can be explained with brain activity?" but of "WHEN this will happen?"
  • neonspectraltoast
    258
    One problem: I never asserted that dreams were non temporal.
  • TheMadFool
    13.8k
    TMF!

    If the subjective experience explains the nature of reality, what would explain the information acting [that acts] upon all matter (or emergent matter as it were)? In other words, how do we reconcile informational energy acting upon all matter within our consciousness(?).

    I think that would be one of the missing pieces there, as it relates to your notion that the nature of reality (consciousness) is subjective.

    Otherwise TMF, I agree with your Subjective Epistemological/Ontological Problem. This is the problem associated with “subjective” versus “objective” perspectives on being in the world. Of course the way to think about this is that subjective experiential consciousness is fully "contained" within the individual. This containment results in two important sub problems, which are mirror images of each other. The first is the problem of directly knowing another’s subjective experience—the problem being it cannot be done. This is the problem of: “How do I know that you see red the way I see red?” This problem also relates to our knowledge of consciousness in other animals, which we can only know indirectly. This is also related to the philosophical problem of zombies.

    Indeed, all subjective experiences can only be inferred via behavior from an objective perspective. The second issue is the inversion of this problem. This is the problem that, as individuals, we are trapped in our subjective perceptual experience of the world. That is, the only way I can know about the world is through my subjective theater of experience.
    3017amen

    Since brain activity correlates with everything mental, inclusive of so-called subjective mental experiences, it goes without saying that these so-called subjective mental experiences are explicable just with brain activity and since this is exactly what the hard problem of consciousness claims is impossible, I'd say there really is no hard problem of consciousness.
  • Heracloitus
    487
    One problem: I never asserted that dreams were non temporal.neonspectraltoast

    "We only experience time when we're awake"

    I suppose it doesn't necessarily follow that dreams themselves are non temporal (iyo), but in any case you assert that time is not experienced in sleep. My assertion that time is experienced outside of the waking state remains. And the rest holds.
  • neonspectraltoast
    258
    So you're saying time is created by dreams?
  • schopenhauer1
    10k
    Firstly, thanks for the clarification. What you say makes sense but the hard problem of consciousness characterized as being about an explanatory gap is, essentially, to claim that physical brain activity is not sufficient in providing an explanation of subjective mental experiences but if we recognize the fact that when we wake up from sleep, reactivated brain activity corresponding to a return of subjective mental experiences, we'll come to the realization that the explanatory gap you speak of has more to do with our ignorance than anything even remotely linkable to the many versions of dualism that are doing the rounds.TheMadFool

    Well, yeah, you are just reiterating the point of the hard questioners.. Why/what/how is it that bio/chemical/physical processes of the brain-body are also experiential/mental states as well. That explanatory gap is not explained by the functions of sleep and awake states. That just says what we know already- that consciousness can have sleep and awake states. It in no way points towards an answer to that explanatory gap. Saying that "brain activity corresponds with mental experiences" is already understood and agreed upon. That is not the issue though so you are making a case for the wrong problem.
  • TheMadFool
    13.8k
    Well, yeah, you are just reiterating the point of the hard questioners.. Why/what/how is it that bio/chemical/physical processes of the brain-body are also experiential/mental states as well. That explanatory gap is not explained by the functions of sleep and awake states. That just says what we know already- that consciousness can have sleep and awake states. It in no way points towards an answer to that explanatory gap. Saying that "brain activity corresponds with mental experiences" is already understood and agreed upon. That is not the issue though so you are making a case for the wrong problem.schopenhauer1

    Yes, I'm repeating myself (again) - sorry, not the sharpest knife in the drawer myself.

    This explanatory gap you speak of is basically the claim that brain activity is insufficient for providing an explanation of subjective mental states. That's the bottom line of the hard problem of consciousness.

    Given the above, have a look at what sleep and awake states imply:

    1. Brain activity present (person is awake) and all mental states are present, including subjective mental states

    2. Brain activity absent (person is asleep) and all mental states are present, including subjective mental states

    From 1 and 2 we can discern that the only difference between the presence and absence of mental states (including subjective mental states) is the presence and absence of brain activity. This, in my humble opinion, proves that an explanation for mental states, even subjective mental states can be found in brain activity alone. There's no need to hypothesize a non-physical mind substance at all.

    As an analogy think of a person C who has zero knowledge of electricity and is given an on/off switch and a bulb with a working circuit. Think of brain states as the on/off switch and all mental states, including subjective mental states, as the glow of a bulb.

    When the switch is on (brain activity present-awake), the bulb glows (mental states including subjective ones present); when the switch is off (brain activity absent-asleep), the bulb stops glowing (mental states includint subjective mental states absent).

    For C there exists an explanatory gap as he doesn't know how the switch effects the bulb's behavior due to his ignorance of electricity - this is exactly like the explanatory gap you mention: the hard problem of consciousness.

    However, upon playing with the switch a number of times, putting it on/off(waking/sleeping), C will notice that the bulb's state (presence/absence of mental states, including subjective mental states) correlates with the state of the switch and he'll realize that if there's an explanation for the bulb's state then it has to do with the on/off switch (brain activity/brain inactivity). C, due to his ignorance, doesn't know the explanation for the bulb's behavior (present/absent mental states, including subjective mental states) - the explanatory gap - but what he does know is that it must have something to do with the on/off switch (brain activity/inactivity).

    There's no need for C to look for an explanation elsewhere - he needs to examine the on/off switch more carefully. Similarly, the person trying to explain mental states, including subjective mental states, doesn't need to entertain the possibility of dualism being true; all he needs to do is examine brain activity more closely for the correct explanation.
  • schopenhauer1
    10k
    This explanatory gap you speak of is basically the claim that brain activity is insufficient for providing an explanation of subjective mental states. That's the bottom line of the hard problem of consciousness.TheMadFool

    But that is not. It is sufficient if we are explaining the causes of subjective mental states. It is not sufficient in explaining how neurons, bio/chemical/physical activity (more generally) are/is mental states. See the difference?

    2. Brain activity absent (person is asleep) and all mental states are present, including subjective mental statesTheMadFool

    First of all brain activity is happening, just different areas of the brain. But I'll overlook this point..

    There's no need to hypothesize a non-physical mind substance at all.TheMadFool

    Hard questioners aren't necessarily doing that. Some may be dualists but not all.

    However, upon playing with the switch a number of times, putting it on/off(waking/sleeping), C will notice that the bulb's state (presence/absence of mental states, including subjective mental states) correlates with the state of the switch and he'll realize that if there's an explanation for the bulb's state then it has to do with the on/off switch (brain activity/brain inactivity). C, due to his ignorance, doesn't know the explanation for the bulb's behavior (present/absent mental states, including subjective mental states) - the explanatory gap - but what he does know is that it must have something to do with the on/off switch (brain activity/inactivity).TheMadFool

    No one is questioning that brain activity correlates and is necessary and maybe even sufficient for understanding how consciousness operates. Rather, it is how mental states and brain states are one in the same. You keep moving from a metaphysical question (the hard question/ why it is that brain states are mental states too), to easier questions (how bio/chemical/physical processes cause or are correlated with mental states). That is a major difference.
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    As I understand it, the hard problem of consciosuness claims that there exist subjective mental experiences (qualia) that can't be explained in physical terms,TheMadFool

    It would be better states as 'no objective description is the same as a subjective experience.'

    As often with this problem, your attempt to 'explain it away' only demonstrates that you don't understand it. Google Facing Up to the Hard Problem of Consciousness and have a geezer at the original.
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    The really hard problem of consciousness is the problem of experience. When we think and perceive, there is a whir of information-processing, but there is also a subjective aspect. As Nagel (1974) has put it, there is something it is like to be a conscious organism. This subjective aspect is experience. When we see, for example, we experience visual sensations: the felt quality of redness, the experience of dark and light, the quality of depth in a visual field. Other experiences go along with perception in different modalities: the sound of a clarinet, the smell of mothballs. Then there are bodily sensations, from pains to orgasms; mental images that are conjured up internally; the felt quality of emotion, and the experience of a stream of conscious thought. What unites all of these states is that there is something it is like to be in them. All of them are states of experience.

    It is undeniable that some organisms are subjects of experience. But the question of how it is that these systems are subjects of experience is perplexing.
    — David Chalmers

    http://consc.net/papers/facing.html

    Personally, I think the above passage reads better if 'being' was used in the place of 'experience'.
  • TheMadFool
    13.8k
    @Wayfarer
    But that is not. It is sufficient if we are explaining the causes of subjective mental states. It is not sufficient in explaining how neurons, bio/chemical/physical activity (more generally) are/is mental states. See the difference?schopenhauer1

    Again, I've failed to make you see my point. Let me try again; perhaps a little detail about David Chalmers, the author of the hard problem of consciousness will help. Before I begin, take note that there might be some inaccuracies but hopefully they will not prove to be an impediment.

    David Chalmers is a dualist i.e. he believes there's a non-physical aspect to mind. The hard problem of consciousness is, in all likelihood, foundational to his dualist outlook which implies that the hard problem of consciousness entails dualism. I will stick to your characterization of the hard problem of consciousness as an explanatory gap, the basic assertion being that, to keep it short, qualia can't be explained in terms of brain states.

    My reply to the above is not to deny that there's an explantory gap - there is. However, and this is my claim, this explantory gap doesn't entail dualism as Chalmers seems to believe. The fact that when the brain shuts off, qualia disappear and when the brain is reactivated, qualia return, clearly demonstrates both the necessity and sufficiency of brain states for qualia. If brain states are both sufficient and necessary for qualia, which entails that qualia have a physical basis, why entertain dualism? It's unnecessary and therefore unwarranted.

    Think of it like a mystery that needs solving. Someone has given qualia to conscious people. We know, with certainty, that Materialism did it for Materialism (brain states) is both sufficient and necessary for qualia. Why then should the investigators of this mystery about who gave qualia to conscious people have another suspect, Dualism?
  • schopenhauer1
    10k
    foundational to his dualist outlook which implies that the hard problem of consciousness entails dualismTheMadFool

    I don't think the problem entails dualism.

    My reply to the above is not to deny that there's no explantory gap - there is. However, and this is my claim, this explantory gap doesn't entail dualism as Chamlers seems to believe. The fact that when the brain shuts off, qualia disappear and when the brain is reactivated, qualia return, clearly demonstrates both the necessity and sufficiency of brain states for qualia. If brain states are both sufficient and necessary for qualia, which entails that qualia have a physical basis, why entertain dualism? It's unnecessary and therefore unwarranted.TheMadFool

    I believe Chalmers is a kind of panpsychist, so more like a neutral monist, but he could have various positions at different times. Anyways, the main point here is that the explanatory gap needs to be explained. How is it that brain activity is mental activity? You say all is brain activity. That's fine.That's great. Now tell me how brain activity is mental activity.

    Think of it like a mystery that needs solving. Someone has given qualia to conscious people. We know, with certainty, that Materialism did it for Materialism (brain states) is both sufficient and necessary for qualia. Why then should the investigators of this mystery about who gave qualia to conscious people have another suspect, Dualism?TheMadFool

    Because it is one way around the problem. It may not be the right way, but it is one way to solve it. Panpsychism is more subtle I think in that it the material aspect has an internal mental aspect as well on some level. Anyways, that is just one way to try to close the gap. There could be others perhaps. Many materialist arguments have a "hidden dualism" embedded in it, where the homunculus is posited by some "magic" integration of physical events, or as I stated in a previous thread, is illegally put in the equation without explanation as simply "illusion". Of course, no explanation is offered as to exactly what illusion is, other than the concretion of physical events over the course of time.
  • TheMadFool
    13.8k
    I don't think the problem entails dualism.schopenhauer1

    Qualia and Dualism
  • schopenhauer1
    10k

    So someone raised a question about qualia in stackexchange and this means the hard problem must be one only dualists care about? It is a problem all of these things must face if we want to explain the gap between physical and mental states. A functionalist or identity theorist is only going to say "When I see red, these brain states are occurring". So? How IS red THOSE brain states? How are body/brain states a subjective experience itself?
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    My reply to the above is not to deny that there's an explantory gap - there is. However, and this is my claim, this explanatory gap doesn't entail dualism as Chamlers seems to believe. The fact that when the brain shuts off, qualia disappear and when the brain is reactivated, qualia return, clearly demonstrates both the necessity and sufficiency of brain states for qualia. If brain states are both sufficient and necessary for qualia, which entails that qualia have a physical basis, why entertain dualism? It's unnecessary and therefore unwarranted.TheMadFool

    Is the brain a physical thing? Well, of course, there's the physical brain - but only if you separate it from the organism, at which point it does indeed become several kilos of organic matter. But the brain, in the context in which it is meaningful, as part of the living being, is the most complex phenomenon known to science. So I think that saying that it's physical, simply assumes physicalism - which is the point at issue. Hence, it assumes what is at issue - it begs the question.

    I should add, that I don't believe anything is purely or only physical. If science knew what was purely physical, then there would be no outstanding problems in physics. But science doesn't know that.
  • TheMadFool
    13.8k
    So someone raised a question about qualia in stackexchange and this means the hard problem must be one only dualists care about? It is a problem all of these things must face if we want to explain the gap between physical and mental states. A functionalist or identity theorist is only going to say "When I see red, these brain states are occurring". So? How IS red THOSE brain states? How are body/brain states a subjective experience itself?schopenhauer1

    Chalmers argues for an "explanatory gap" from the objective to the subjective, and criticizes physicalist explanations of mental experience, making him a dualist. — Wikipedia
    :chin:
  • Wayfarer
    20.7k
    Regarding Chalmer's dualism, his Wiki entry simply says 'Chalmers characterizes his view as "naturalistic dualism": naturalistic because he believes mental states supervenes "naturally" on physical systems (such as brains); dualist because he believes mental states are ontologically distinct from and not reducible to physical systems.'

    And I agree with that, although I think his 'philosophical zombie' argument is nonsense.
  • schopenhauer1
    10k

    So? The explanatory gap has to be explained by both camps. I don't necessarily agree with dualists either. In a way dualism seems to be bypassing all we know of empirical evidence. But this doesn't mean the materialists get a pass either. All is material yet the material can't explain how material is mental (in some circumstances). All we have is talk of emergence, illusion, integration, which just amounts to hidden dualism (which is essentially saying "magic" as far as I see).
  • jorndoe
    3.3k
    A different way to illustrate the problem (the explanatory gap / mind conundrum) could be to ask:
    Can you derive what a bat's echolocation is like by examining the bat?
    Can you derive those special formats of experience (qualia) from looking at an (alleged) experiencer?
    We can guess and correlate of course; is that the extent of it?
    Either way, I cannot experience your self-awareness, since then I'd be you instead.
  • TheMadFool
    13.8k
    material can't explain how material is mentalschopenhauer1

    Yes, indeed, there is an explantory gap. I'm not questioning that at all. I'm primarily concerned about where, in materialism or dualism, the explanation will be found and my argument suggests the explanation is located somewhere in materialism rather than dualism.

    Regarding Chalmer's dualism, his Wiki entry simply says 'Chalmers characterizes his view as "naturalistic dualism": naturalistic because he believes mental states supervenes "naturally" on physical systems (such as brains); dualist because he believes mental states are ontologically distinct from and not reducible to physical systems.'Wayfarer

    Thanks as always Wayfarer although I feel I should disagree with the last sentence: "...not reducible to physical systems"
  • schopenhauer1
    10k

    I don't know how to explain this, but this is almost like a sub-division of the bigger question.

    The more general question is: How do brain states have mental states?

    The more specific questions are things like: Does that specific entity have an internal state or How do I know other people have internal states?
  • schopenhauer1
    10k
    Yes, indeed, there is an explantory gap. I'm not questioning that at all. I'm primarily concerned about where, in materialism or dualism, the explanation will be found and my argument suggests the explanation is located somewhere in materialism rather than dualism.TheMadFool

    That's great, now answer how.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.